Once-in-a-lifetime football match - Mumbai vs Minchinhampton
A group of 14 boys from one of the most underprivileged areas of the world visited Beaudesert Park School in Gloucestershire as part of a two week football and education tour thanks to a huge fundraising effort by the school.
20th October 2017 — A football match against the Beaudesert Park School pupils was one of the many highlights of the trip and was featured widely across regional TV news programmes and newspapers. The OSCAR team continued their unbeaten run on the tour to beat the Beaudesert team 2:1!
The boys were from Mumbai, and part of the OSCAR Foundation - a non-profit organisation that supports and mentors the most vulnerable young people in the slums across India. Patron of OSCAR, Lucinda Sowerbutts, conceived and organised the tour having met OSCAR’s founder Ashok Rathod in 2015 while working for an NGO in India.
The two week UK football, education and culture tour was designed to give the children a better understanding of how education and community involvement can provide them with alternatives to life on the street. It is hoped that they will help spread this message when they get home to Mumbai.
James Womersley, Headmaster at Beaudesert, commented; “Being involved in helping make the OSCAR tour happen, and then hosting the children and the adults with them, was very fulfilling and a lot of fun for us here at Beaudesert. Our own pupils, their parents and our staff really got behind the fundraising and the planning that needed to happen to make the boys’ time with us here in Minchinhampton as rewarding and nurturing as possible. They were a real pleasure to host. We hope that now they've returned to India they have done so with new-found enthusiasm for the value of education and happy memories to last a lifetime.”
Beaudesert is one of five UK schools which fundraised for 18 months to raise enough money to provide this life-changing experience for their Under 14 counterparts. The tour took the boys to London, Manchester, Gloucestershire, Surrey and Suffolk to visit all five schools as well as take in a host of other experiences including a trip on the London Eye, accompanying musical icon Elaine Paige to The Lion King, a visit to Windsor Park, a Go Ape encounter and a Chelsea Football Club training session. The grand finale was a visit to Manchester United FC, by invitation of Juan Mata.
School’s inclusive rugby stance results in Twickenham Guard of Honour moment
Pupils and staff from Beaudesert Park School in the Cotswolds enjoyed a proud day when they were invited to Twickenham Stadium to form the Guard of Honour, on the pitch, for the England v Barbarians match, in recognition of their approach to rugby.
21st June 2017 — The invitation was extended on the back of the school being selected as ‘Kids First’ champions. Old Mutual Wealth ‘Kids First’ is England Rugby’s approach to rugby for 6-13 year olds. It gives children playing rugby more opportunity to prosper, by fostering an environment for having fun, learning and building confidence.
Earlier this school year, Beaudesert agreed to become a ‘Kids First’ school. This recent ‘champion’ award was as a result of being seen by RFU as one of very few top schools in the country at delivering ‘Kids First’ rugby. In recognition of this, fifteen of the U13 1st rugby team and five staff were invited to Twickenham.
Neil Crossley, Director of Sport at Beaudesert, commented; “We’re really proud to have been recognised in this way. We have a ‘sport for all’ ethos here, and the Old Mutual Wealth ‘Kids First’ approach complements that. It helps children develop and learn the game at their own pace, and have plenty of fun while playing.”
Neil continued; “Recently the RFU (Rugby Football Union) introduced brilliant new age-graded rules. Rugby and safety is a hot topic at the moment, and the new rules have reinforced the positives of playing rugby, demonstrating a more progressive pathway, along with creating a very open, free-flowing game that is more exciting for children to play and parents to watch.”
Neil added; “We’ve also recently started coaching girls in rugby for the first time. One of our keenest rugby playing teachers decided to trial girls’ rugby as an extra-curricular activity. Thirty girls signed up straight away! Now it’s on the sports timetable.”
For more information about ‘Kids First’ champions see http://www.englandrugby.com/my-rugby/players/kids-first-rugby/champions/
Fundraising to bring Indian football team to the UK
Beaudesert Park School in the Cotswolds has forged links with an innovative Indian children’s charity to help fund, and bring to life, an ambitious plan to enable a boys’ football team to travel from the slums of Mumbai to the UK for a football tour.
10th May 2017 — Thanks in part to funds raised by Beaudesert Park School in the Cotswolds, a boys’ football team from the slums of Mumbai is on track to travel to the UK later this year to take part in a football tour of five different schools.
Fundraising events at Beaudesert so far have included a very bling Bollywood disco and a sell-out curry night, but the main event has been The Big Beaudesert Dribble. Pupils aged 3-13, parents, staff and even some famous football players gathered sponsors and donned trainers to dribble footballs the total 4,543 mile distance that lies between the Gloucestershire school and the Indian football team’s home in India. Pupils were thrilled to be joined for the final push by former Arsenal and England goalkeeper David Seaman, as well as three players from local club Forest Green Rangers - Rob Sinclair, Sam Wedgbury and Omar Bugiel.
The dribbling effort was also helped by Ashok Rathod – founder of the innovative OSCAR Foundation in India, and the person who developed the football tour initiative in the first place. Ashok’s not-for-profit organisation works to give communities and underprivileged children a better understanding of how education and community involvement can provide them with alternatives to life on the street. One of the ways it engages with children is through sport.
The money raised by Beaudesert will not only help make the football tour possible, but also support the wider work of the OSCAR Foundation. Deputy Headmaster, Colin MacIntosh, commented; “We’re very excited about this. It’s a real privilege to play a part in giving these children an experience that might encourage them to embrace education and lead more fulfilled lives. The OSCAR Foundation does some fantastic work, and we’re really looking forward to welcoming Ashok and the boys to Beaudesert in the autumn.”
The school year is ending on a high for Beaudesert Park School thanks to the news that two pupils have taken gold in the National Prep Schools Athletics Championships.
14th July 2016 — The school year is ending on a high for Beaudesert Park School thanks to the news that two pupils have taken gold in the National Prep Schools Athletics Championships.
The championships see children from prep schools across the whole of the UK competing to be placed, and took place at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham.
No less than eight Beaudesert pupils qualified for the finals this year – a record for the school. On the day itself, Poppy Clark ran 800m in 2.27 minutes to take the cup for the Under 13s, and Charlies Davison won the Under 14 javelin event with a throw of 43.86 metres.
Neil Crossley, Director of Sport at Beaudesert, commented: "We were very pleased to have had eight pupils qualify for this event, and for Poppy and Charlie to go and take gold is just fantastic. They deserve to be really proud of themselves and maybe even rest up a little over the summer holidays!"